Once upon a time, Zack Snyder had a plan to build a DC Comics cinematic universe for Warner Bros. Unlike rivals Marvel, who basically became the gold standard for cinematic universes, Snyder and co were not going to introduce characters in solo movies and see them grow and eventually team-up. Instead, we would meet most of these characters already in (or past) their prime, and then subsequent standalone prequel movies would flesh out their backgrounds. And then the whole plan fell apart thanks to Justice League being terrible.
One place where Snyder’s plan had been made abundantly clear though was in how he introduced Ben Affleck’s Batman. The actor had his hair greyed up to look older than his actual 47 years, so that he could then play a younger version of himself in a standalone origin film which Affleck would write and direct as well. And then that whole plan fell apart as well. And now we have Matt Reeves’ The Batman which will see Robert Pattinson wearing the cape and cowl. We still have no official confirmation on just how Pattinson’s Batman will slot into the DCEU’s timeline (if he even will), but given that the actor is only 33-years old, and all the Zero Year vibes we’re getting from leaked set pics, it made sense that this would be the origin story that Snyder and Affleck never got to do.
Except it isn’t. Not really. That’s according to what Reeves told Nerdist in an interview this weekend past.
I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle. But that doesn’t mean that he even fully understands, you know. It’s that whole idea of the shadow self and what’s driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you’re doing that you’re unaware of.
We really don’t need to see Bruce Wayne’s parents get gunned down again in an alley, so I hope Reeves takes the same approach Marvel did with Spider-Man and Uncle Ben’s death by just mentioning that tragic event and its effects, but not forcing us to sit through it for the umpteenth time. Reeves continued, explaining that he wants to delve a bit deeper into what makes Batman tick and how it relates to the real world.
There’s something in there that feels very psychological, very emotional, and it felt like there was a way of exploring that along with the corruption in this place, Gotham. That feels very current. I think it always does. There’s almost no time when you can’t do a story about corruption. But today, it still seems incredibly resonant and maybe, from my perspective, maybe more so than maybe at other time.
This approach Reeves is taking is, of course, nothing new for the filmmaker based on his superlative Planet of the Apes films. Even with CGI animals as his leads, he’s always looking for the “human” angle to his storytelling, and this is an approach he took with The Batman as well when selling his idea to Warner Bros.
I’m going to pitch the version of Batman that I would do, which is going to have a humanist bent. And who knows if they’ll have any interest? If they don’t, then I won’t do it. And that’ll be okay. I was really lucky that they said yes.
It’s not even like that’s an approach that I take, like it’s some kind of idea of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great?’ It’s sort of the only thing that allows me to understand how to do it. I can only understand where the camera goes and how to talk about the story, how to write the story, how to talk to the actors, if I understand emotionally what it is I have to do. Otherwise I’d be lost.
Some people are incredible choreographers and they know how to create an incredible visual dance, or all of that kind of stuff. And I love that kind of stuff. But at the end of the day, I have to understand it emotionally.
Firstly: No, we’re not making sparkly emo vampire jokes here because we’re not children and Pattinson has most certainly shown himself to be an incredibly capable and varied actor since his days in Twilight. Secondly: Batman has always been a character plagued by psychology, so this plays perfectly into Reeves’ approach. It also bolsters his previous claims that this would be a Batman that’s a lot more cerebral than former cinematic iterations, which has me the most excited of all. The Dark Knight Detective will finally rise on the big screen.
The Batman is currently scheduled for release on 25 June 2021.
Last Updated: April 14, 2020
April 14, 2020 at 12:45
I’m kinda worried that it’s too soon for another Batman movie. They should really have waited a couple of years. But then again it is Hollywood we are talking about. Pump out as many movies about something that did well until they completely kill it. Although I am curios to see what Reeves and the sparkling vampire make of this (you might not be a child, but don’t overestimate the rest of us xD )
Maybe they should have done a movie about Batman Beyond. Get an old ballie Bruce Wayne that teaches a new kid. Would at least have been something fresh.